I've heard about this island too many times. People say it's the best beach in the Philippines, and possibly the world. I've never been to Leyte province, so this island became a no-brainer for me to finally visit this time. For someone who finds a white sandy beach with no soul in sight as a Disneyland, i couldn't let pass the opportunity to travel to the land built on stories.
I've traveled to many places, each with a unique story to tell and an experience too hard to forget. It can be about this wild animal roaming around this particular jungle or this tiny island off the coast of this humble province with the just the most unbelievable crystal clear water. But no! What i will share now is a story of defeat, of disappointment and of life and death.
Location: Hilagang Samar, Pilipinas
A lot of people wonder how a solo traveler spends his day while on the road.
When i was in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro, i found myself in the company of new found friends. They've made me realize how honest and simple happiness is for a child, and how i have grown up to have a more complicated perception of what joy is.
Spending an afternoon with these kiddos didn't make me want to go back to being a child. I am proud of the 29 years i have lived. More so, i'm looking forward to living 80 more years. But what struck me the most is that for the first time in a while, i smiled not for myself but for them.
It was around four o'clock that afternoon. My skin was burnt from the sun rays over the Sulu sea. Aliguay Island was a stunner. Pink Sand? You got it! As the boat slowly docked on the port in Dapitan, Zamboanga Del Norte, suddenly, i begin to ponder more and more how blessed i was to be able to set foot in this province and discover all the wonders it posses.
I rallied myself to prepare for my trip to Dipolog. I packed my stuff, hit the shower and checked all my stuff inside the room to see if i left something. It's still a few hours away from Dapitan, and i wanted to watch the sun set from the boulevard. I lit a cigarette and waited for tricycle that i could hire to bring me to the next municipality. I watched for the very last time, this beautiful scene from the boulevard. I don't know how it happened, but somehow the beauty of the place have magnetized me to stay still for a few minutes, like i'm waiting for something to happen.
I sat for a bit.
Location: Lungsod ng Dapitan, Pilipinas
I thought traveling to South Korea was easy. Well, no. Not because the visa was hard to acquire. Lack of preparation can actually ruin your entire trip.
I've traveled to many places, in the really off the beaten path destinations in the Philippines to as far as Northern Thailand and West India. But never have i felt so novice as when i went to Seoul. I've always been used to macro-planning (destination, time and money). That's it. Well, to my surprise, i have to say my trip to South Korea was the most difficult. Here's how i experienced it.
1. People don't speak English.
The biggest irony of it all. Everywhere you go here in Manila, and other key regions in the country, you will see young Koreans studying English. Well, what's left in Korea are those who're unfamiliar with the language. Imagine myself with no sleep at all, and early in the morning trying to find this particular hotel, that i never found anyway. I saw this woman whose probably a working professional. Asked her if she could help me find this particular hotel from my guidebook. She signaled she needed to call a friend. Fantastic! After putting down the phone, i got very excited, finally a sign that she knew the place. She looked into me and said, 내가 있을 곳이.를 하는 것처럼 바로 바로 켜고 산기슭에 가려져 이 호텔을 찾으실 수 있다는 것을 알고 있습니다.
Location: Seoul, South Korea
I love staying in hostels! It's fun, relaxed and you get to meet a lot of people - those who call traveling as an interest, a hobby or a sport. That's why you meet them at the right time, and at the right place... at Eight Elephants Hostel.
I stayed at this hostel when i went to Taipei. I've done a background check and the reviews were pretty fair and legitimate. It doesn't have a pool or any of those advertising superlatives which you can only find in $100/night suites. For the lack of a better word, i found the place interesting. It wasn't my first choice of accommodations, but i'm glad i switched to this place the day after. It's a pretty interesting place! There are lots of art, carefully placed in common rooms. Every corner of the hostel holds a memorabilia, a dedication from a happy guest, sorts of trinkets you would find in art gallery like post cards and doodles.
Location: Taipei City, Taiwan
When you're not updating your travel blog, you should only have one excuse for that. You have to be traveling. That's exactly what i did for almost a year. And God knows how thankful i am to have traveled far up north and down south of my country, the Philippines. I have also traveled to one South East Asian country and have a few worthwhile experiences i am proud of. I was on a blog hiatus all for the right reasons, and now i'm so shaped and amped to share with everyone what i was doing. Enjoy!